“Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” – Romans 13:11-12
Superheroes have always fascinated me. And when I was growing up, one of my favorites was Steve Austin: “The Six Million Dollar Man” of TV fame. The show began with one of the best title sequences of all time. We see astronaut Steve Austin in his space suit, flying an experimental aircraft. But something goes terribly wrong. His plane crashes, and it’s engulfed in flames. The next thing we see is an operating room, and the narration begins.
“Steve Austin—astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will BE that man. Better than he was before: Better. Stronger. Faster!” Sure enough, after his six-million-dollar surgery, Steve Austin had two bionic legs that let him run up to 60 miles per hour. He had a bionic left eye that gave him telescopic vision. And he had a bionic right arm that made him the strongest man on earth. Now, I admit it: “The Six Million Dollar Man” was a pretty corny show. But those words from the title sequence have still inspired me over the years: “Better than he was before: Better. Stronger. Faster.”
Here’s a question for you: As Steve Austin was soaring over the earth in his experimental aircraft he was completely healthy—two healthy legs, two healthy arms, two healthy eyes. So, BEFORE his plane crashed, how far was Steve Austin from being “better, stronger, faster”? Probably a few days. But what about AFTER Steve Austin’s accident? As he was lying on that operating table with two crushed legs, a severed right arm and a damaged left eye, at THAT point how far was Steve Austin away from being “better, stronger, faster”? Just minutes away.
If Steve Austin had been a real man, most people would have looked at him in his hospital bed and said, “He is definitely NOT better than he was before! After his accident he is LESSER, WEAKER, SLOWER.” And yet, when Steve Austin was at his WORST point, he was actually the closest to his BEST point. When he was at his WEAKEST, he was closest to being at his STRONGEST. When he was flat on his back, he was minutes away from being at his fastest. The night was nearly over. The day was almost there.
In today’s world, it’s been a rough couple of years for a lot of us. After having Covid, many of us feel worse than we did a year or two ago—lesser, weaker, slower. But God’s Word has some great news for you today: “Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here” (Romans 13:11-12). Thank about that. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter how bad you FEEL right now. You might FEEL lesser, weaker and slower than you did a year or two ago. But we walk by faith and not by sight.
In God’s word, Hebrews 11 is nicknamed “The Faith Chapter.” It’s filled with over a dozen examples of biblical heroes who persevered through extreme difficulties … by faith. Noah persevered for more than 100 years as he built a huge wooden ship in the middle of the desert. But Noah walked by faith, reminding himself of what God said was up ahead. Abraham persevered for 30 years, trusting God’s promise that he and his wife would have a son in their old age. That took a lot of faith, because Abraham was 70 years old when God first made that promise to him. He was 100 by the time Isaac was born. But Abraham walked by faith, reminding himself of what God said was up ahead. Moses persevered for 40 years, carrying out God’s marching orders to lead over a million Israelites to the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses was repeatedly criticized and slandered, and he received death threats. But he walked by faith, reminding himself of what God said was up ahead.
Hebrews 11:13-15 tells us, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance…. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” These biblical heroes looked ahead, beyond what their eyes could see. And they saw with the eyes of faith what God had promised them was up ahead. Noah saw a flood that wasn’t yet there. Abraham saw a son who wasn’t yet born. Moses saw a homeland that the Israelites hadn’t yet reached.
And if you look ahead with those same eyes of faith, you can see what awaits you up ahead. No more pain. No more disease. No more cancer. No more depression. No more war. No more divorce. No more funerals. No more crime. No more poverty. Heaven is nearer than it was last year. Your complete physical healing is nearer than it was last month. Your brand new, top-of-the-line, pain-free, resurrected body is nearer than it was just yesterday. Despite how beaten up and broken down you may feel, if you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ you are closer than you’ve ever been to being better than you’ve ever been: BETTER, STRONGER, FASTER!
Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Pastor Dane’s latest book (Called to Persevere: One Man’s Journey to Overcome Pain, Disease and Disappointment with God) is NOW available at Amazon. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc or www.Called2Persevere.com.
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